Portrait of My Grandfather, Smiling

At Life’s Ebbing
October 14, 2021
Grandfather’s Face
November 15, 2021

Portrait of My Grandfather, Smiling

Written by Esther Omoye

Today’s the first time I’m picking my

grandfather’s smile off his portrait

I lean forward in the dirty light and

I recognise it as a sort of learning;

warning or a welcome

A rescue boat and a torpedo at once


I run toward the leftover glow in the sky

pink fading to purple where the sun recently


I place my hand in his open hand

careful not to touch his skin


He turns sideways there, so his

smile withdraws and he tucks it

back in the clear pocket where it lives

old plaid trousers and the passage of time

Until he dissolves into full-on hysterics

for everyone to hear like old times again

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